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community building | sustainability

Back to basics

Whatcha growing?
Given the state of the world (fuel, transportation, weather, crop loss etc) the single most important act no matter your situation (assuming you aren't in prison or on the tenth floor of a high-rise condo unit) is to grow some food. Basic sustenance is the great equalizer.

This culture [sic] is responsible for a hell of a lot of suffering both domestically and internationally. We are now looking at a global train wreck with famine, disease, resource wars etc. I realize this is not a new situation for many millions around the world but it is going to escalate.

It seems to me that rebuilding community through gardening efforts is rewarding on many levels. At this point, anything grown and consumed in your own neighborhood is of immense value. Recreating community (sorely lacking in many parts of the industrialized world, especially in the suburban hell outside my window), food exchanges, seed exchanges, community gardening along with the benefits of reduced chem-lawn fetishization will help enormously. We recently had the neighbor girl over (7 years old) who was astonished that food comes from the ground (the look of amazement is really something...illustrative of just how far removed we are from reality).

Fixing food will help with education, community, invalid and elder care, health, reduced environmental toxicity, increased diversity (especially suburbia), less driving and overall fuel consumption, more variety (bringing back all of the nearly forgotten heirloom varietys that monocropping has attempted to wipe out), less disease outbreak (the feds should love it since the ability to do vast amounts of damage is greatly mitigated by distributed food production - no matter what Monsanto and their ilk would have us believe)....the list goes on and on.

Every calorie grown in your backyard reduces the impact on global energy consumption by roughly 8-10 calories of input (assuming the numbers of 9-10 calories of input in fossil fuels for every calorie consumend). Eating healthier will reduce illness and the impact on health care budgets for preventable disease (GI disorders, obesity, diabetes, etc). Once weaned off of greasy, sugary mass produced crap you will marvel at the FLAVOR that comes out of a beautiful heirloom tomato or beet, not to mention honey rather than sugar (I do like my raw cane juice sugar though).

I would love to see neighborhoods building largish solar ovens and doing community baking, canning and preserving. Anyone else noticing that Winco and Bi-Mart (am sure there are others) are putting canning supplies on sale (a rarity)? If you have any of these skills might I suggest sharing them with others. Small groups can easily go around neighborhoods with simple instructions, a few hand tools and some seed (or starts) and encourage everyone to garden.

I dream of the day all of the chemical lawns disappear from suburbia in favor of real diversity and investment in the future. Large movements like this could bring a variety of faces and voices to the environmental and sustainability movements not to mention helping to turn the bullshit green-scare "meme" on its head.

Any thoughts?